Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resolutions Checkpoint 2016: April

After getting "settled" in Montpellier the third week of April, apartment hunting has quickly consumed most of my time this past week. Since arriving I've either been (a) working, (b) at some sort of language exchange/internationals event in the evening, (c) doing something athletic (run/frisbee/swim), or (d) checking apartments online.

So aside from snail mailing, my solo hobbies took a rest these past two weeks (calligraphy, reading, writing, other "side business" projects). (However, the tradeoff was very worth it. I'd forgotten how good it feels to quickly fall asleep at night because you tired yourself out with exercise during the day, and to wake up sore all over.)

That said, here's what's happened in April on the resolutions front:

April Progress

1. Volunteer
  • (+) Spend 30 minutes researching volunteering opportunities in Montpellier.
  • (+) Ask any acquaintances I meet if they know of volunteer opportunities. — My first night here actually, I met someone who told me about an office in Montpellier that helps people find local volunteer opportunities which match up to your skills/commitment, so I really need to go there!
  • (  ) Take next step for one volunteer opportunity — Not yet. I let apartment hunting take priority.

2. Learn Calligraphy
  • (+) Purchase Amy Style worksheet set and video course from TPK. — I actually did this back when I was still in London.
  • (+) Find somewhere to print Amy Style worksheet set in Montpellier. — Printed it at Hannah and Herm's and got started!
  • (   ) 10 minutes of practice every day. (in Montpellier) — As I said, I haven't gotten into a routine yet here in Montpellier. Once I find an apartment and actually settle in, I think this should be easier to do. Adding it to my May daily checklist.

3. Live Out My Values
  • (+/-) Meditate at least 5 minutes every day. — Mediated 17/30 days this month for 10 minutes each; my longest streak was 9 days long, at the start of April. I really liked meditating, and have added it to my May daily chart.
  • (+) Attend at least one Meetup/OVS event per week (once living in Montpellier). — Oh yes, it's been an average of at least 4 events/week. Woo!
  • (+) Send a letter per day for #write_on (National Letter Writing Month). — I've sent 26 to date... will send the final four this week.
Other goals
  • (+) Read four books — This month I read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert, "Modern Romance" by Aziz Ansari, and "The Tools" by Phil Stutz. (Those were all read by the time I arrived in Montpellier on the 13th!
  • (+/-) 4/4 Thankful Thursdays — I posted 3/4 this month. I could have easily posted one more after the fact, but the point is to take the moment and actually feel gratitude; not to check off some imaginary box here.
  • (  ) Complete my French study plan for April — I didn't do enough grammar as I'd planned to do, but I'm very slowly making my way through the book "Bridget Jones's Diary" in French, and have been making an effort to watch some French shows or movies every now and then.

May Focus

Here are some smaller tasks to complete this month, to get me closer to my three main resolutions:

1. Volunteer
  • Go to the office I learned about to have an appointment with the "volunteer match" people.
  • Act on whatever results from that meeting.

2. Learn Calligraphy
  • 10 minutes/day from Amy Style worksheet set. (and track on spreadsheet)

3. Live Out My Values
  • Go a month without Twitter (Create > Consume) — I will note that I'm rarely on Twitter these days as it is (I only tweeted one #showandmail photo during this year's entire month of #write_on), but after adding the meditation last month, I wanted to do another month-long experiment, this time going without.
  • Host a bowling event on Meetup (Connected)
  • Write two blog posts on English with Rebecca (Helpful/Creative) — New raw site still in rough draft mode (you get to see behind the scenes!) to list English teaching/editing services in one place.

Other goals
  • Read three books
  • Have "quarterly reflection" during first week of May
  • Finish the "Street Food" chapter of my Korean food guide
  • Finish the "Restaurants" chapter of my Korean food guide
  • Make plans to visit Max in Munich
So here's what my new notebook pages look like:

[Above] Tracking: Meditate, write in journal, take a walk (outside!), read in French (min. 5 minutes), French study, exercise, event. It's the first four categories which I want to consistently complete every day.

Here's what my next "May" page looks like:

I like breaking some bigger tasks into smaller circles I can check off once I spend a certain amount of time on that task, or finish smaller parts (i.e. 25-minute chunks for the Korean food guide, and individual lectures for the Creativity MOOC).

And my French study plan:

"Every day is a new life to a wise man." What's one small change you could make today (or work on in May) to slowly construct this "new life"?
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